Why Meditate?

As a natural growth from our February Open Heart Meditation event, this month we're exploring meditation and the whys and hows of drawing it into your life. Check out this article with a little of the science behind why you might want to meditate. Kim’s Thoughts

The morning after our open heart meditation, I had a sudden insight about a tarp in my back yard and the resentment I carried about it. Yes, a tarp. Months ago, my husband was working on a project in our backyard which involved said tarp. It seriously may have been 6 months ago. Since then, it has blown down the hill and rests against the edge of our woods. When I wash dishes, I look out into our back yard and see it. Many times I have asked: “Can you pick up that tarp?” “Will you pick it up today?” or “I’m worried that tarp is going to blow on the road…”

Although I was annoyed by this tarp, I hadn’t picked it up. I’d used it to separate me from my husband. I also used it to separate me from myself. Recently, I would get irritated when I’d see the tarp, but did that propel me to pick it up? No way. In many ways my husband not picking it up was important. It allowed me to see how potent these little things can be. I saw how much time and energy I had wasted. If I had gone out and picked it up shortly after I saw it, or after the 20th time I noticed it, I would have missed this perspective. Instead of taking responsibility, I wanted to force responsibility on him.  I saw him as standing in my way of enjoying the view – he was in my way of happiness. This wasn’t causing us to not get along, but it was like a splinter – slightly irritating. I was surprised to see how this controlled my thoughts and my feelings, and how many times I had had a choice to take control, but had not been aware of it. Yes, I got all of this from our short heart meditation. This is often how energy healings or meditation works: there is a subtle shift in your consciousness; a type of awakening that in turn shifts your actions.

Guess what happened next? Yep, I picked it up. It is resting on a shelf and my heart is much lighter.  Here’s what else happened that day that feels connected: • I picked up litter around my mom’s mailbox – I had been giving that beer bottle and chip bag the stink eye for a couple weeks – strangely that had not motivated them . • I put away our snow shovels still strewn about our steps after the big storm. • When my daughter suggested we plant a box of bulbs I bought on a whim back in September, I said sure. • I shared this story with my husband and we connected over it.

Maybe this story is something you can relate to? A teen who always leaves their shoes in the middle of the room or that co-worker who always seems to complain. Can you recognize you have a choice as to whether or not it interferes in your relationship? Maybe it’s not something as simple as picking up a tarp, but you can make choices to how you respond. I share this story because often we have little things that we let control the way we see ourselves and a situation, and the little things become what we hear the loudest.

Kim can be found at Hara Studio


Elizabeth’s Thoughts

As an Intuitive Energy Guide I use guided meditations a lot. When I look at how long I’ve been using them in my life, it’s interesting to see just how far back they go. I was a gardener at an herb farm when I trained to be a hatha yoga instructor in Integral Yoga. From teaching yoga at the herb farm to teaching yoga to fellow students while I was in massage school, everyone loved savasana, the guided meditation into a deep relaxed state at the end of class. I used it myself if I was stressed or tired but couldn’t fall asleep. And then I started using guided meditations for more than just relaxation, I used them to explore different aspects of myself, more than just my physical self. And it has developed into my main tool as I guide beings through this and other realms. Whether I am working with a human and her cats to find a place of balance after the loss of a cat, or with a human who is embracing his whole being and exploring his powers and responsibilities as a co-creator, I use guided meditations to bring awareness to and allow shifts on levels we are not usually paying attention to.

Just like anything new, meditation might seem uncomfortable. I always like to remind people that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Much of the media about meditation focuses on sitting still for long periods of time. While this is indeed one way to meditate, there are so many other ways to meditate. I have a walking meditation practice. I walk pretty much every morning, rain or shine (I don’t melt). I have a few blessings I invoke that I repeat over and over, and I also use the time to draw forth anything that needs attention. But, a lot of my walk is just taking in my surroundings: the clouds scudding across the sky, the color of the sunrise as it tickles the mountains, the great horned owl nest, the lack of awareness drivers have toward walkers. For me, noticing what is going on in the natural world around me helps me feel connected to the All, helps me stay grounded, centered, and balanced. And I notice what’s going on inside of myself, too. Am I quick to anger by the driver who couldn’t stay on his side of the road or even lift a foot off the accelerator while passing me? Am I feeling a twinge in my knee? Do I feel in alignment with my Higher Self? While I do practice seated meditation, my sitting practice is not as regular as my walking practice…which leads me to the word practice. Just as I mentioned above that there is no right or wrong way to meditate, it’s also important to remember that we are not seeking perfection as meditators. It is a practice. Most of our human experience is made up of practices. We practice at connecting with humans. We practice at a plethora of skills. And meditation is just that, a skill. I find it to be an extremely useful skill and continue to explore different ways of meditation.

Here is a simple way to draw meditation into your life. While you’re brushing your teeth, stand evenly on both feet, close your eyes, and just notice what brushing your teeth really feels like. It’s something physical, but what thoughts or emotions are popping up. Still brushing your teeth, can you sink down into your heart space and feel the comfort of this place? Open your eyes, finish brushing your teeth and move on into your day.

Whether meditation is new to you or you’ve been practicing for awhile, as you venture into new experiences, be kind to yourself. Have compassion for yourself as you step out of your comfort zone in this search for the nameless. If you’re looking for more ideas, please check here: meditation.